SGI-Canada Holds Open House Event in Toronto
On September 15, SGI-Canada held an open house event at its SGI Toronto Culture Centre, welcoming over 300 members of the local community to learn more about SGI's Buddhist philosophy and its grassroots activities promoting a culture of peace.
The event opened with a speech by Spencer West, a motivational speaker for "Me to We," a social enterprise that provides socially responsible products and services. Spencer was born with a disease that led to the removal of both of his legs at the age of five. He shared his story of overcoming his limitations and determining to live the fullest life possible. In June 2012, Spencer decided to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as part of a project called "Redefine Possible," which aims to raise money for clean water projects in drought affected areas of East Africa. After seven days of climbing, partly in a wheelchair and mostly on his hands, he succeeded in reaching the summit. Spencer encouraged everyone to believe in their inner potential and stressed the positive influence that one person can create.
The local SGI youth band and chorus gave a joint performance of several pieces, including a South African song called "Ipharadisi." The exhibition "Seeds of Hope: Visions of sustainability, steps toward change," created by SGI and Earth Charter International, and the SGI anti-nuclear weapons exhibition "From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit" were on display at the center. The event also included presentations highlighting the origins and development of SGI's initiatives for peace, culture and education.
[Adapted from a report from SGI-Canada; photos courtesy of SGI-Canada]